Student data privacy and security are our foremost responsibilities here at Clever. We invest heavily to ensure that we are improving privacy for schools, students, and teachers, and we make sure that everyone at Clever is constantly working towards this goal.
Technology to the rescue. Tracking changes over time is something we do frequently at Clever – we use diffs1 to review code, specifications and write-ups on Github. Most of the tools and libraries we create are open source, meaning anyone can contribute an improvement, a problem, or idea. In fact, Clever is open source by default, meaning we only make a tool or library’s source code private if we can justify that it needs to be private.
- Schools and privacy advocates are concerned that companies may silently eliminate privacy protections over time. We will never do this at Clever, and by making our policies open source, our changes will be transparent.
- We loved the public feedback on our policies, but found it hard to have a productive conversation through Twitter. With open source policies, the tools make it easy to receive and respond to feedback.
- By open sourcing our policies, we allow others to use our policies as a starting point for their own work (a fork2, in open source terms).
- Create your own repository named policies or fork ours.
- Add your current policies to the repository:
- Protip: The HTML to Markdown converter makes it easy to generate plain text versions of your existing policies.
- Use Git branches and Pull Requests to manage changes in your policies.
- Let everyone know by tweeting your repository with the hashtag #opensourceprivacy
Please feel free to reach out to us @Clever if you have any questions or if we can help you open source your policies.
Thanks Bill for pushing us to be better, and EFF’s TOSBack.org for the ideas.
1. diff: short for difference. compare (files) in order to determine how or whether they differ.
2. fork: A fork is a copy of a repository. Forking a repository allows you to freely experiment with changes without affecting the original project.